JSC recommends removal of 3 Judges over misconduct


JSC recommends removal of 3 Judges over misconduct
File image of Chief Justice David Maraga. PHOTO| COURTESY

The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has asked President Uhuru Kenyatta to form a tribunal to investigate the conduct of three judges accused of gross misconduct.

The three are Justice D.K. Njagi Marete, Justice Martin Mati Muya and Lady Justice Lucy Waithaka.

In a statement read by Chief Justice David Maraga, JSC on Thursday said it was satisfied that petitions filed against the three judges raised serious integrity issues that warrant their removal.

“After hearing the following 3 petitions, the Commission was satisfied that they disclosed grounds for removal under
Article 168 (1) of the Constitution and made a decision to Petition H.E. the President for the appointment of
Tribunals under Article 168 (5) of the Constitution,” said JSC.

Justice Marete is accused of gross misconduct, bias, impartiality and breach of the Constitution in a petition filed by Kenya Tea Growers Association (KTGA), Unilever, Siret and five others at the Kericho Employment & Labour Relations Court.

“In those cases, the Hon Judge, while well aware of the existence of an order in another file on the same subject matter, went ahead and issued orders which had the effect of setting aside the orders of a fellow Judge of coordinate jurisdiction,” said Maraga.

Justice Muya is accused of bias, abuse of office, incompetency and gross misconduct in the manner he handled a case where NIC bank had been sued by two petitioners.

“The petition against the Hon. Mr. Justice Martin Mati Muya was filed by NIC Bank which was the defendant in Bomet HCCC No. 4 of 2016 Alfred Kipkorir Mutai & Kipsigis Stores Ltd -Vs- NIC Bank Limited.

“In that case, the Hon Judge, after numerous adjournments, granted an injunction and reserved the reasons thereof for a period of 5 months. This was in total disregard of the pleas by the NIC Bank that the motor vehicles that had been given to it as security were being sold and were eventually sold thus occasioning loss to the bank,” reads the statement.

For Justice Lucy Waithaka, she is accused of impropriety for issuing two conflicting judgments over the same matter.

“The Petition against Hon. Lady Justice Lucy Waithaka was by Philip Kipyegon Lelei in Kericho H.C.C.C No. 64/2008, Jonathan Kimutai Mibei vs Philip Kipyegon Lelei,” said the commission.

The JSC was making an address on the status of the recent petitions filed against judges and magistrates.

The commission pointed out that five magistrates had been served with charges on various acts of misconduct and given 14 days within which to respond to the charges.

The charges range from disappearance of files, irregular release of exhibits, forging of documents, temperament, bribery, signing release order without surety and other forms of corruption.

On the petitions filed against Chief Justice David Maraga and four Supreme Court judges, JSC says the respective judges have filed their responses and the matters are still before the commission.

“The Commission shall fix dates for the oral hearing of these petitions after the finalization of the forthcoming  exercise of recruitment of Judges,” said JSC.

The commission added that the petition against Justice Farah Amin is partheard before a JSC Committee, while the one against Justice Richard Mwongo was recently concluded and is pending determination.

Ten other petitions against Superior Court Judges are fixed for hearing between 10th and 15th June 2019 before two committees of the JSC.

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Story By Benjamin Muriuki
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